This dish began with a near-disaster. I was making shumai for a TY KU Sake party, held in Aspen, Colorado. As the guests were arriving I realized that the water I was going to cook the dumplings in wasn’t going to boil at our high altitude. What to do? I grabbed a paella pan, put it on the grill and added oil. I smashed – flattened – the shumai with a wet palm, then sautéed them until golden and crisp.

The result, with its great textural play, was better than the original. These have a shrimp mousse filling that’s deluxe but easy to do. They make a fantastic party nibble, but I think you’ll want to serve them as a first course, too.